I'm new to this type of research, so I'm trying to get a grasp on the concepts that were put forth in the da Costa and Kneale pieces. They contend, unless I'm wrong (very possible), that researchers can make substantive observations about geography in reality by comparing it to geographic depictions in books and movies. Is this possible? Isn't the subjectivity of the author/director too large of a barrier to effective research? I think it would be nearly impossible, short of climbing into his/her head, to interpret the rationale for an author's/director's decision to depict a place in a certain way. Therefore, the research consists primarily of the researcher's subjective interpretation of the reasons for the author's/director's depiction.
Kneale tries to address this issue, but he doesn't, in my opinion, explain how this sort of research can be objective in any way. Can this problem be overcome in the way Kneale says it can?
By the way, I'm not sure I'm stating this as well as I should (sorry!) -- still trying to shake the last remnants of the flu!